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On cluster validity for the fuzzy c-means model

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2 Author(s)
N. R. Pal ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of West Florida, Pensacola, FL, USA ; J. C. Bezdek

Many functionals have been proposed for validation of partitions of object data produced by the fuzzy c-means (FCM) clustering algorithm. We examine the role a subtle but important parameter-the weighting exponent m of the FCM model-plays in determining the validity of FCM partitions. The functionals considered are the partition coefficient and entropy indexes of Bezdek, the Xie-Beni (1991), and extended Xie-Beni indexes, and the Fukuyama-Sugeno index (1989). Limit analysis indicates, and numerical experiments confirm, that the Fukuyama-Sugeno index is sensitive to both high and low values of m and may be unreliable because of this. Of the indexes tested, the Xie-Beni index provided the best response over a wide range of choices for the number of clusters, (2-10), and for m from 1.01-7. Finally, our calculations suggest that the best choice for m is probably in the interval [1.5, 2.5], whose mean and midpoint, m=2, have often been the preferred choice for many users of FCM

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 3 )